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GM to Discontinue Camaro, Firebird
Posted on 09/26/2001 10:44:48 PM PDT by ambrose
Wednesday September 26 1:08 PM ET GM to Discontinue Camaro, Firebird
GM to Discontinue Camaro, Firebird
By ED GARSTEN, AP Auto Writer-
DETROIT (AP) - Cruising the boulevard may never be the same. Two of America's favorite sports cars are nearing the end of the blacktop.
General Motors Corp. announced Tuesday the 2002 model year will be the last for the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
The Ste. Therese, Quebec assembly plant where they are produced will close next September.
GM blamed the demise of the Camaro and Firebird on a 53 percent decline in the sports car market since 1990. Even the muscle cars were not strong enough to beat back the growth in popularity of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
More than four million Camaros have been sold since it was introduced in 1967. Its peak year was 1978 when 260,201 were sold, but last year sales dwindled to just 42,131.
The Firebird's best year was 1978 when 175,607 were sold. In 2000, though, sales were just a tad over 31,000.
``The Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird have truly become an integral part of the American culture over the years,'' said John Middlebrook, GM vice president and general manager of vehicle brand marketing.
He said the automaker will be celebrating the cars with a 35th Anniversary Edition Camaro and a Collector Edition Firebird Trans AM.
The cars will not be directly replaced, but the new Chevrolet SSR, available next year, is expected to attract some Camaro and Firebird buyers. The vehicle is a cross between a roadster and the now extinct cult favorite El Camino.
Pontiac will offer the new Vibe GT, Bonneville SSEi and supercharged Grand Prix GTP.
The Ford Mustang still remains from muscle car glory days. Two similar models, Chevy Corvette and Dodge Viper, have only two seats and are much more expensive than the Camaro and Firebird.
The Ste. Therese plant opened in 1965 and has built the Chevrolet Celebrity and Monza, and Pontiac Grand Prix along with the Camaro and Firebird.
Most of its 1,065 hourly employees are eligible for retirement, as well as 380 employees currently on lay off, said Maureen Kempston Darkes, GM of Canada Limited president and general manager.
``This is an extremely painful and difficult decision,'' Darkes said. She said the company tried to find an alternative to continue manufacturing at Ste. Therese, but was unable to find one.
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General Motors Corp., http://www.gm.com
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GM Discontinuing Camaro, Firebird (September 25)
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posted on 09/26/2001 10:44:48 PM PDT
New forms of male 'compensation' will arise, I am sure.
posted on 09/26/2001 11:11:47 PM PDT
A double-wide isn't really a home without a Camaro parked by the front steps.
Oh well, Rockford doesn't need any more new ones...
posted on 09/26/2001 11:15:52 PM PDT
I had a 68 Firebird, 4 barrel holley double pumper, 3speed, car would go 40 mph in first gear before you threw in the last 2 barrels, top out around 60 in first, 95-100 in second, and downright fast in third. Got a ticket for excessive noise on the way home from buying it. That's when I knew it was going to be a fun car. Oh, high school.
posted on 09/26/2001 11:18:33 PM PDT
In a closely-related story, it was announced today that the Mullet haircut would also be discontinued:
They will both be back for sure. It'll be a few years, but they will be back better than before.
posted on 09/26/2001 11:26:13 PM PDT
Well that's just great. Now what will people put up on cinderblocks?
posted on 09/26/2001 11:30:50 PM PDT
In the good ole days had a 78 Trans Am T/A 6.6 with screamin' eagle on hood and shaker hood scoop. Called it my time machine. Kept it for only 4 months though... couldn't keep the speed down... was afraid I was going to wipe out someday. It was a real thrill!
Comment #10 Removed by Moderator
now that is brilliant....oh the memories of bustin' clods off my boots before entering the double wide .....here is the kicker,,,,was in the oil patch then and my 77 camaro was a converted 4x4 chassis underneath. .....bricks were out back for the occassional maintainance. .....
Seems a shame, until you think of what those classic cars have become in the past couple of years. I'm understand folks may disagree, but I always had to get close to the latest models to make sure they weren't a Corolla. These lines have seen their best years long ago IMO.
Seems like the continued survival of the Mustang owes to Ford going retro on that line, maybe GM will do something like that for Camaro some day.
posted on 09/27/2001 12:12:27 AM PDT
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